Elay Shech 3.1.2019

Edelstein Colloquium

Elay Shech- Auburn University

Colors, Perceptual Variation, and Science

Arguments from perceptual variation challenge the view that colors are objective properties of objects, properties that objects have independent of how they are perceived. This paper attempts, first, to diagnose why arguments from perceptual variation are especially challenging for objectivists about color; why, for instance, disagreements about color run deeper than disagreements in aesthetics, for example. Second, we offer a response to this challenge, claiming that once we focus on determinate colors rather than the determinables they determine, arguments from perceptual variation lose much of their force.

Third, our nominal opponents are relationalist (like Jonathan Cohen’s The Red and the Real) and we will argue that the main argument for rejecting objectivism commits the relationalist to a position that is more radical than the one he would wish to endorse. Fourth, we suggest that insight into which properties could be relational may be found by looking to our best scientific theories.